Herbs are known to provide nutrition that have healing effects on the body. Doubling as attractive houseplants, some even keep insects and mosquitoes away. The following herbs are perfect for your container kitchen garden.
Not just a tasty topping on wood-fired pizza or pasta, basil possesses healing qualities and is known as the king of herbs. It has anti-inflammatory properties, alleviates anxiety and helps with fatigue. It also improves memory and concentration as it is a circulatory stimulant and antioxidant. Basil leaves can be used to make tea, tinctures, infused vinegar and herbal butters.
Basil does very well in containers, especially in the tropical climate. Bright sunshine, well-drained soil and regular watering are needed to take care of your basil plant. Plant it by sowing seeds about an inch deep in the soil.
A sacred herb, tulsi is famous for its aroma and possesses anti-microbial and antioxidant properties. It also provides relief for respiratory issues, arthritis, stress and anxiety. The plant also shows good results with symptoms of ADHD, as it helps improve concentration. Tulsi can be consumed as herbal tea, infusion, medicated ghee and tincture.
Tulsi belongs to the same family as basil and is in fact called holy basil in English. Basil and tulsi require similar care.
Aloe vera is yet another easy-to-grow plant that does wonders to the human body. It is native to Africa and belongs to the succulent family. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is used extensively to smoothen skin and treat burns, reduces infections in cuts and wounds. Drinking aloe juice can help reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, chronic constipation and other digestive problems. The sap of aloe vera is obtained by cutting a leaf laterally. It can be used to make juices or applied directly on the skin.
A hardy plant that doesn’t require babysitting, aloe does best in a balcony with plenty of sunshine or on the terrace. Make sure to water occasionally.
A bushy container plant, lemongrass is best kept near windows or doors as it also keeps the mosquitoes at bay. The health benefits of lemongrass include reducing anaemia, aiding digestion alleviating anxiety, headaches, colds and flu.
Lemongrass is best consumed as a herbal tea.
While you can grow lemongrass from seed, full plants are easily available at local nurseries. Partial shade or full sunshine and regular watering is all the care required.
A versatile crop, mint doesn’t just add to the aroma but is very good for health. Rich in antioxidants, it aids digestion, relieves pain, and an effective solution to headache and nausea. Mint can be consumed as a tea, garnish or chutney.
Mint grows easily by planting a bunch of stems. It gives a bountiful reward once it is cared for appropriately. Water plentifully and regularly. Shady areas are fine too.
Turmeric is regularly used in Indian cuisines and for a good reason. Its health benefits include anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. It is considered as a blood purifier. Turmeric is dried and used in sambar and curries, or even simply for the colour. Turmeric and milk is a wonder cure for coughs and colds.
Cut fresh turmeric into pieces and plant them in a pot with well-drained soil in a shady area. You need to water once in two days. Fertilise the soil using organic fertilisers every two months. Turmeric will be ready for harvest in 8 to 10 months.
A rhizome that is native to India, ginger has been used across the globe for its medicinal properties which include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It soothes ENT symptoms, reduces swelling and nausea. Ginger is best enjoyed as masala chai.
You can grow ginger by procuring a live root. As it is in the same species as turmeric, it requires similar conditions and maintenance for growth.
With these easy-to-grow-and-maintain plants, starting a fully-functional farm-to-table urban garden has never been easier. Make sure to use natural and organic fertilisers and soil while growing them to reap maximum health benefits.